The Nature of God - Christianity and Islam

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  • Created on: 08-04-10 12:41

The nature of God

The ‘nature’ of God means what God is like or how people understand God. Even atheists have some idea of God that they reject!

Christians understand God as a supreme being who created all things. They describe God as good, loving, just, powerful, merciful, appearing to give God human characteristics (personal). They think of God as close to people, involved in the world, acting in human history (immanent), yet they know this limits God. They also think God is beyond human understanding, eternal, all-knowing, mysterious, more like a force (impersonal) and not limited by time or space, outside the world, taking no active part in human life (transcendent). They believe God is One (monotheism) but they speak of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God Holy Spirit).

Think about the following questions.

  • Personal: how can God be everywhere at the same time, care for everyone, answer prayers, if God is just a person?
  • Impersonal: how can people have a meaningful relationship with a ‘force’ or impersonal ‘spirit’, or prime number (One), or the idea of infinity, or some other idea in the minds of people?
  • Immanent: if God is ‘in the world’ does that mean God is part of the world?


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